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Better than the Greeks

Martin Goodman, 30 January 1992

The Cambridge History of Judaism. Vol. II: The Hellenistic Age 
edited by W.D. Davies and Louis Finkelstein.
Cambridge, 738 pp., £65, March 1990, 0 521 21929 9
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... is much debated – more so than is suggested by the reliance in the Cambridge History on Martin Hengel’s justly influential views. But to understand changes in religious outlook (which is what a history of Judaism ought, surely, to be about), the actual behaviour of Jews matters less than their perception of their own behaviour. What reason is ...

Short Cuts

Frederick Wilmot-Smith: Environmental Law, 8 February 2018

... to help improve its environmental standards. Client Earth, which Thornton wrote with his husband, Martin Goodman, describes how the institution was set up and charts its more notable successes.* Staffing was the first problem. Bright young lawyers tend to go to the highest bidder and ExxonMobil pays more than the earth. If good lawyers make a difference ...


Glen Bowersock: Rome versus Jerusalem, 22 February 2007

Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilisations 
by Martin Goodman.
Allen Lane, 638 pp., £25, January 2007, 978 0 7139 9447 6
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... to his own question: ‘Our instruction comes from the porch of Solomon.’ So much for Athens. Martin Goodman’s book, Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Civilisations, turns Tertullian’s problem on its head. The Christian sophist, as T.D. Barnes called him, posed his question about Jerusalem in Rome’s own language. But ...

The Ballad of Andy and Rebekah

Martin Hickman: The Phone Hackers, 17 July 2014

... of the original police investigation. It’s worth going back over this story. In 2006, Clive Goodman, the royal editor of the News of the World, then edited by Coulson, intercepted the voicemail messages of Princes William and Harry. Goodman was arrested, and the police found 15 confidential palace phone books at his ...

Miracle on Fleet Street

Martin Hickman: Operation Elveden, 7 January 2016

... handed detectives emails between Coulson and the News of the World’s royal editor, Clive Goodman, proposing paying the police officers who guarded the queen. Quietly, Scotland Yard joined Operation Elveden up with Operation Weeting, the phone hacking investigation, and Operation Tuleta, an investigation into the hacking of computers. Brooks, who was ...

Risky Business

Elaine Showalter, 22 September 1994

Telling Women’s Lives: The New Biography 
by Linda Wagner-Martin.
Rutgers, 201 pp., $22.95, July 1994, 0 8135 2092 4
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... Linda Wagner-Martin, a highly respected scholar of American literature who teaches at the University of North Carolina, was bewildered by the hostile reception in Britain of her biography of Sylvia Plath, published in 1987. Not only had she run into major conflicts with the Plath estate, she explains in her preface to Telling Women’s Lives, but some critics saw her as both an ‘unethical commercial writer’ and a radical feminist ...


Nicholas Penny: Getting Rid of the Curators, 4 May 1989

... in the world for their knowledge, curators who have given decades of service to the Museum. Lord Goodman asked Lord Armstrong to explain to the House why it was that nine curators were told that they had two weeks in which to accept redundancy and were not informed what would happen to them if they did not do so. Lord Armstrong replied: ‘For what reason I ...

When the barracks were bursting with poets

David A. Bell: Napoleon, 6 September 2001

Napoleon the Novelist 
by Andy Martin.
Polity, 191 pp., £45, December 2000, 0 7456 2536 3
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... Andy Martin is unlikely to convince many readers that Napoleon conquered Europe only as compensation for his inability to write a sentimental novel. His attention to the Emperor’s literary ambitions is, however, not unreasonable. Napoleon dreamed of literary as well as military glory, wrote copiously at various moments in his life, and had real talent for it (Sainte-Beuve called him ‘a great critic in his spare time’, while Thiers elevated him to ‘greatest writer of the century ...

Newspaperising the World

Sadakat Kadri: The Leveson Inquiry, 5 July 2012

Dial M for Murdoch 
by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman.
Allen Lane, 360 pp., £20, April 2012, 978 1 84614 603 9
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... how it started. Dial M for Murdoch is an invaluable account of its evolution, told by Martin Hickman of the Independent, and the MP Tom Watson. Watson has been particularly close to events. In September 2006, he spearheaded opposition within the Labour Party to Tony Blair’s refusal to schedule his departure from office. Since Blair enjoyed ...


Ian Penman, 2 July 2015

Sinatra: London 
Universal, 3 CDs and 1 DVD, £40, November 2014Show More
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... show, their driven young client had none of the star power of already signed performers like Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee; his billing read ‘Extra Added Attraction’, and for Sinatra this particular gig was a pretty big deal. As Donald Clarke puts it in All or Nothing at All: A Life of Frank Sinatra (1997), the Paramount Theatre was ‘one of ...


Michael Burns, 18 November 1993

Death and the After-Life in Modern France 
by Thomas Kselman.
Princeton, 413 pp., £40, March 1993, 0 691 00889 2
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... back to the religion of their youth. Kselman describes, for example, the climactic moment in Roger Martin du Gard’s 1913 novel Jean Barois. Freethinking apostle of science and reason, Barois finds himself reciting a desperate Hail Mary when his horse-drawn carriage collides with two Parisian street-cars. Uninjured but morally shaken by his retreat into ...

Dingy Quadrilaterals

Ian Gilmour: The Profumo Case, 19 October 2006

Bringing the House Down: A Family Memoir 
by David Profumo.
Murray, 291 pp., £20, September 2006, 0 7195 6608 8
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... general and had denied everything. In the same month he had given his version of events to Martin Redmayne, the chief whip, in the presence of Tim Bligh, the prime minister’s private secretary, and had asked if he should resign. Probably every other Conservative whip since the war would have said, ‘Yes, and come back into the government when all ...

Still Superior

Mark Greif: Sex and Susan Sontag, 12 February 2009

Reborn: Early Diaries, 1947-64 
by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff.
Hamish Hamilton, 318 pp., £16.99, January 2009, 978 0 241 14431 2
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... as much as Les Misérables, which she had read before she was nine. She also read Jack London’s Martin Eden, a book about a self-taught writer which she later suspected had given her inspiration for her future life. A schoolteacher called Mr Starkie, recognising an unusual capacity in the girl, lent her The Sorrows of Young Werther. She started keeping a ...

Much like the 1950s

David Edgar: The Sixties, 7 June 2007

White Heat: A History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties 
by Dominic Sandbrook.
Little, Brown, 878 pp., £22.50, August 2006, 0 316 72452 1
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Never Had It So Good: A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles 
by Dominic Sandbrook.
Abacus, 892 pp., £19.99, May 2006, 0 349 11530 3
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... and spirit of the 1960s’). Two prevalent Beatles myths are reiterated (it was all down to George Martin, and all downhill from the White Album); and it’s no surprise that Sandbrook prefers McCartney to Lennon. But although, yes, transcendental meditation was ‘never especially popular in the back streets of Bolton’, Indian mysticism was certainly of a ...

Christian v. Cannibal

Michael Rogin: Norman Mailer and American history, 1 April 1999

The American Century 
by Harold Evans.
Cape, 710 pp., £40, November 1998, 0 224 05217 9
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The Time of Our Time 
by Norman Mailer.
Little, Brown, 1286 pp., £25, September 1998, 0 316 64571 0
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... Mississippi, where the civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were murdered in 1964. The American Century details J. Edgar Hoover’s personal and the FBI’s institutional linking of white supremacist and anti-Communist hysterias, to which America’s national police devoted far more resources than to the ...

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